11 Apr 2006

Efforts under way to see if negotiated solution to Papua tensions is viable

5:01 am on 11 April 2006

An Australian academic who helped bring about the peace settlement in Indonesia's Aceh province is exploring the possibility of a similar process being used to ease the tensions in Papua.

Associate Professor Damien Kingsbury, an Indonesian politics specialist from Australia's Deakin University, has been in Finland for discussions with groups involved in conflict resolution and crisis management.

He says such a group might become a mediator in any talks but the process is still at a very early stage.

"You need international backers for these sorts of processes. You certainly need financial resources and you need to have the agreement of different parties to participate, so, really this is just an exploration at this stage to see if those conditions can be met, to see, if in fact, a negotiation process is viable."